Coffees - 17 most famous coffees explained



Where you used to just get a mug of filter coffee, the choice in any coffee bar is overwhelming these days. In a specialty coffee bar you can really go in all directions with dozens of different coffees. Whether you're a fan of coffees with milk, with ice or just black, 'sky is the limit'.

I almost always opt for a light-roast coffee and then brewed as a slow coffee with, for example, a Hario V60 or Aeropress. You usually pay a little more for this than an espresso or americano, but the barista also has a lot more work to do.

Quite logical actually. It also often uses coffees with an exceptional and more complex flavor profile that really trigger your taste buds. The funkier the better! If you ask me.

I can imagine that all this choice can be quite overwhelming. You have made coffee types based on filter coffee with, for example, an Aeropress, Hario V60 or the Chemex.

But by far the most types of coffee you will find in a coffee bar are based on espresso .

The difference between espresso and filter coffee is in the extraction, but I will come back to that later. Anyways it can be quite complex.

That is why I have created a handy overview for you with the 17 most famous coffees in a row. I kick off with all coffees based on espresso. Then I will discuss all types of coffee with milk (also based on espresso).

Then the filter coffees and finally I will further explain all iced coffees. This way you know exactly what to order the next time you visit your favorite coffee bar.

All coffees

Espresso-based coffees

'Black' coffees

As I explained in the intro, most coffees you find in a coffee bar are based on a single or double espresso shot. For example, by adding some hot water to this you get an Americano.

The black coffees based on espresso always have a clear coffee flavor and can sometimes be experienced as intense. This of course depends on the amount of water added.

If you like the buzz, but don't like a (too) strong coffee taste, you can of course always opt for a coffee with milk.



An espresso is a small cup of coffee, usually between 20 and 60 ml. You usually drink an espresso in one or two sips. Espresso is often perceived as a strong coffee.

This is because an espresso is a very concentrated coffee. You force, as it were, the water with a pressure of about 9 bar through a bed of finely ground coffee.

The high pressure creates a layer on the espresso which, when extracted correctly, has a beautiful hazelnut brown color. This crema on the espresso is highly desired by many coffee drinkers.

Read also: How to make an espresso in 6 easy steps


A doppio is exactly the same as an espresso, but with a double shot. In some coffee bars, for example, the menu says espresso, double or single. But in some specialty coffee bars, instead of 'double' espresso, doppio is used. For when you want to wake up extra 😉.


The ristretto is also called a short espresso. This is because it is an even smaller and more concentrated amount than a regular espresso. The extraction time of 20-30 seconds for a ristretto is the same as the extraction time for an espresso.

Only the number of ml's of brewed coffee that you have left is about half. This is +/- 15ml. Even stronger than an espresso. So not for the faint hearted!


The americano is actually the 'regular' coffee in the coffee bar. You make an Americano by diluting an espresso with about 30ml of extra hot water. This makes the taste a lot less intense.

If you order a 'regular' coffee, you usually get an Americano or in some cases a Lungo. Did you know that the name Americano comes from the Second World War.

The American soldiers in Italy thought the espresso was too strong. Because they diluted the espresso with water, the name Americano was created.


The lungo and Americano are sometimes used interchangeably. But in practice, a Lungo is really a different coffee than an Americano. The similarity between the two is a less concentrated coffee, but the difference lies in the brewing method.

Lungo is Italian for long coffee. This is because it takes a longer time for about double the amount of water of an espresso to run through the coffee. A lungo is therefore somewhat more bitter in taste due to the extra extraction that the coffee undergoes using this brewing method.

If you want a 'regular' coffee next time, but not so bitter, then you better go for the Americano.

Coffees with milk and espresso as a base

White coffees

The following coffees, which also have an espresso as a base, but with milk added, present themselves. The Cappuccino, Latte or Flat White all have in common that an espresso (or double espresso) is used as a base and the milk is mixed into it.

By adding milk to the espresso, the coffee becomes softer and creamier and the bitter flavors of the coffee are less prominent. This category naturally includes the cappuccino, the type of coffee that is most commonly drunk in the Netherlands.

But other milk coffees such as Latte Macchiato and Flat White are also very popular in the Netherlands.

Coffee with milk


The liquid Italian breakfast that you shouldn't drink after midnight.The Cappuccino is the most famous Italian coffee with milk. A perfectly brewed espresso is the base, mixed with milk of a perfect texture.

A trained barista can let his latte art run wild with the right frothed milk and provide your cappuccino with a heart or a beautiful rosetta.

Read here how to make the perfect cappuccino.

Flat White

Theflat white comes from the Mecca of specialty coffee, Australia. This type of coffee looks very similar to a cappuccino, but is still slightly different.

The Flat White is prepared with thinner foamed milk and is often brewed in combination with a double espresso as a base. Due to the double shot, the flat white tastes slightly stronger than the cappuccino and is also becoming more popular in the Dutch specialty coffee scene by the day.


We know the latte in the Netherlands as a latte . It also resembles a cappuccino, but more milk is used, which is less frothed than with a cappuccino.

For a latte, froth up about 250 ml of milk and pour it over a double espresso. This makes the coffee a lot creamier and softer in taste.

Read also: How to make a perfect latte at home with an espresso machine?


The cortado , for when a cappuccino or flat white is just too much for you. A cortado is an espresso diluted with a little bit of frothed milk. It looks a bit like a mini cappuccino.

Due to the smaller amount of milk compared to the cappuccino, this type of coffee is a lot more concentrated. The result is a small smooth coffee.

Latte macchiato

Just like the flat white is a variation on the cappuccino, the latte machiato is a variation on the caffè latte. The big difference is that here the espresso is poured over/into the frothed milk.

With the latte this is exactly the other way around. For the latte macchiato, you froth up about 250 ml of milk and then pour it into a glass. At the same time, you can make an espresso separately and carefully pour it into the glass so that the espresso slowly works its way through the frothed milk.

By pouring it into a large transparent glass, you can see the different layers very nicely with this type of coffee.

Espresso macchiato

Espresso macchiato is a bit like a cortado, but even simpler. This type of coffee consists of a single shot of espresso, to which two teaspoons of frothed milk are added. This way you have a less strong espresso, without too much milk.

Coffee types based on filter coffee

There are also often different coffees based on filter coffee. In most specialty coffee bars this is also called slow coffee. These are coffees, often lighter roasted coffees, that are made using a filter method.

Some of these filter coffees are made and served right in front of you and you can judge the skills of the barista very well.

filter coffee

Hario V60 coffee

With the Hario V60 dripper you can make a handmade filter coffee. There are several Hario v60 recipes , but your local barista usually knows exactly how to best brew the coffee on offer.

A coffee from the Hario V60 is often more subtle than an espresso and brings out the complex, fruity taste notes even better. Do you really want to taste the coffee? Then go for a Hario V60 filter coffee.

Aeropress coffee

The Aerpress is also a method of making filter coffee. This type of coffee can be brewed in hundreds of ways. There are even World Aeropress Putting Championships.

If your barista knows what he's doing, you won't regret your order. Learn how to do Aeropress yourself like a champ.

batch brew

When you come across this type of coffee, you get a filter coffee that has been made in a larger 'batch'. So you have a lighter roasted, tasteful filter coffee, only it is not made on the spot in front of you.

Ice coffees

Extra tasty and popular in the summer, a nice cold brew or ice coffee gives an extra fresh twist to your cup of coffee. Actually, cold brew is not made with ice, but because you drink it ice cold, I think this type of coffee comes into its own here.

Ice Coffee


Cold brew

The big difference between cold brew coffee and 'regular' filter coffee is that cold brew is made with cold water. There are several methods to make cold brew. The easiest is to soak your coarsely ground coffee in the water and then steep it in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.

Then you filter the coffee from the water so that only cold brewed coffee remains. If you use delicious freshly roasted coffee beans for this, you are in for a really fresh surprise.

By the way, did you know that Cold Brew coffee is an ancient drink and that the history of cold brew coffee is super interesting?

Ice coffee

Perhaps the easiest coffee with ice. By adding ice cubes to your freshly brewed espresso, you create an ice-cold coffee drink. Nice and soft taste and super refreshing.


Hmmm. This is by far my favorite iced coffee recipe. A scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream topped with a delicious espresso. Read here how you can make an affogato at home in three simple steps . You don't even (necessarily) need an espresso machine for this!


There are really many types of coffee that you can order in your favorite coffee bar. There are probably even coffees on it that I have not mentioned in this article. What's actually quite funny is that almost every type of coffee is based on an espresso.

This can be a regular espresso, an espresso with hot water, with milk or with ice. With these combinations you can put together a lot of different types of coffee. Which is your favourite?

Frequently asked questions about types of coffee

How many coffee types are there?
There are many varieties of coffee. Most types of coffee are based on espresso. You also have coffees with milk, with hot water and with ice. You also have different types of filter coffees. View them all.
Which coffee is consumed the most?
In the Netherlands, regular coffee and cappuccino are the most consumed. Do you want to know which coffees are also widely drunk? Then read the article: Which coffee is consumed the most?
What is the difference between Americano and Lungo?
The big difference between an American and a Lungo is the brewing method. The Americano is an espresso diluted with hot water. The Lungo, also called long coffee, is an espresso that runs a little longer. The Lungo is often more bitter and intense than an Americano.
What is the difference between Flat white and cappuccino?
For a flat white, use a double shot of espresso instead of a single shot with a cappuccino. The milk foam is also different. The milk froth of the flat white is a bit thinner than that of a cappuccino, which in combination with the double shot of espresso gives you a somewhat firmer coffee drink than when you order a cappuccino.